When Cities Sleep – What Lies Lay Between Us

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Unleashing a striking mix of metalcore and post hardcore with a volatile infusion of EDM, US band When Cities Sleep uncage their new album What Lies Lay Between Us this week and a tempestuous roar of sound and enterprise it is too. Coming with fierce hunger and intensity, as well as its own sonic wind chill, the band’s sound and release is a biting bluster of confrontation and intimidation spiced with a melodic endeavour which ignites the imagination. It is an encounter which is unpredictable and uncompromising but equally a proposition unafraid to seduce and enthral with hostility tempering elegance and beauty. It has flaws and at times is less convincing than in other moments, but given time it emerges as a rigorously appetising and riveting incitement.

Released through Indianola Records, the Maryland hailing band and What Lies Lay Between Us straight away impose themselves on ears and thoughts with opening track Dead Tires. From the first taunt of electro coaxing intrigue sets in to be swiftly joined by full attention as ferocious riffs and jabbing rhythms collide with the raw vocal squalls of Mike Garrow and the rest of the band. Instantly it is a voracious incitement lying somewhere between August Burns Red and The Browning but already with a whisper of contrasting endeavour as varied vocals and spicy grooves start littering the sonic tempest. This lure is fully realised with the appearance of excellent clean vocals, Garrow revealing his wide vocal prowess as the song twists and flirts with ravenous ingenuity. Who provides the electronic infestation we cannot say but with the searing creative rabidity of Justin Hein and Dario Eusantos’ guitars scorching the predatory rhythmic threat of bassist Robbie King and drummer Johnathan Melton, it all adds up to one hellacious and exciting trespass of the senses.

The exhausting start is continued by Two Faced and So Here’s To This, the first an antagonistic fury coursing with savage riffs and violent rhythms but bringing forth an exploration of rich melodies and binding elegance. It is a Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetsimultaneously combative and seductive union, rivals which seamlessly entwine around each other for an impressive portrait of craft and passion. In some bands’ hands it would be a clunky union but When Cities Sleep handle the contrasting elements with invention and technical understanding. The third song on the album initially dances with ears through a mellower electronic tempting but is soon smothered by the thick assault and animosity of riffs and rhythms, their combined malice oppressive smog. Within that though, the electro beckoning continues to ebb and flow, colouring the storm with its expressive textures to match the same diversity of vocals.

As Life And Lies ravages senses and air with startling maliciousness and resourceful enterprise, one of the album’s issues is reinforced. It is not exactly a major problem to be fair, but a similarity between tracks in sound and structure does often require a greater concentration and focus to escape. That time and attention given certainly brings potent rewards as every song offers its own identity of imagination and united individual prowess from the band but you wonder if enough people will offer that effort to give the release the spotlight it deserves. It would be their loss, as proven by the cantankerous intent and fierce examination of Six Zero Two, a barbarous violation with some of the best intensive and gripping riffery, not forgetting acutely thrilling grooves, on the release. Aligned to another healthy variety of vocal attack and tantalising electronic hues, the song is a memorable landmark on the landscape of the album, something else which is a little rare. Certain moments within the album, many twists in its adventure linger long past departure but far fewer whole songs achieve the same success.

It is something which does not detract from its impressive company though, a presence richly satisfying again through the album’s title track which features Shawn Spann of I The Breather. With melodies and harmonies as gripping and fiery as the stormy sounds around them, the song is an enthralling and vehemently steamy encounter, raising more hunger in the appetite which is fed by the excellent Daydreamer. The song is a tangy tapestry of sonic and melodically fuelled turbulence leaving ears and imagination ablaze and passions at their greediest and most blissful. It is the pinnacle of the album, edging out the first couple for top honours.

Concluded by the accomplished and mellow melodic croon of Letters For You, a track which does little wrong but just does not spark the passions without the same lethal persuasion of previous tracks, What Lies Lay Between Us is an impressing marker for When Cities Sleep. It is soaked in raw and thrilling potential ensuring it is an album leaving a want for more which is only a positive as the band continues its striking emergence.

What Lies Lay Between Us is available now through Indianola Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/what-lies-lay-between-us/id934466242

https://www.facebook.com/WhenCitiesSleep

RingMaster 19/11/2014

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Malefice – Gravitas EP

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There is always a twinge of excitement when news of a new Malefice release breaks, having been hooked on them via debut album Entities back in 2007, and so it was with the announcement of new EP Gravitas. It was an appetite and anticipation more than forcibly fed by the brutal fury of a release. The EP sees the UK metallers at their most fearsome and uncompromising best. It is a beast of an adventure and assault; hard to say the band’s best rage yet but definitely there on the frontline of their finest moments.

The successor to last year’s V EP and third album Awaken the Tides two years before it, Gravitas finds Malefice going back to the sounds which they feel ignites and is the core of the band. Vocalist Dale Butler talked about the album recently saying, “After taking some time out from the band to do our own things and focus on our own lives we came back together not feeling as we had given all we have to give to Malefice… We spent a long booze-fuelled evening talking about what we want to do and what came out of that discussion is that we want to write music we like…We are going to back to what makes us Malefice and we’re gonna write some fucking heavy music to headbang to.“ There is no doubting their success in that, the release a merciless and inventive brute force but unafraid to vein and spear it with the melodic fire and imaginative tenacity which the band has equally become renowned for in British metal.

There is no escaping the primal fury and angry weight of the EP as opener Forsaken descends on ears with predatory riffs and rhythms, both aspects converging in one intrigue soaked stalking. It is a seriously intimidating proposal with effects teasing the skirting vocals, Butler eventually escaping their restraints to snarl venomously as the song moves into a new aspect of its hunt of the psyche. From that initial harrowing prowl, the track slips into a torrential charge of spicy grooves across cantankerous riffs and murderous rhythms. It is a gripping and savage violation, the guitars of Ben Symons and Andrew Wilson pure spite and invention in their rabid riffery and designs whilst the heavy handed swings of drummer James Pearly Cook are judge, jury, and executioner in their attack on the senses. Completed with the almost carnal tones of Tom Hynes’ bass, the track is a furnace of malice and unfussy yet pungent imagination.Cover

The cauldron of vocal ire and variety from Butler and band is just as feverishly addictive as the sounds brawling around them, second track Heroes providing more of their exploits in its own unique violation. A more merciful start fuelled by fiery melodic enterprise makes a ‘gentler’ welcome though the track is soon barging through ears with nagging riffs and unforgiving rhythms. It tempers and scythes across this tempest though with an outstanding haze of superb clean vocals and just as thick sonic expression, before exploring a mesmeric calm of evocative radiance and melodic charm. It is just the eye of the storm of course, the track soon back in vicious mood and ferocity. There is a feel of Fear Factory to it in some of its parts but ultimately this is a unique and thrilling exploration all of Malefice’s own making

Within a breath Escape is bawling over and brawling with ears, providing another distinct twist to the blaze of the release. Grooves seduce from the first second, scorching the raw and turbulent landscape of the song whilst another array of differing and complimenting vocal diversity grips the imagination giving more potency and depth to the track’s narrative. Swirling and savaging within its towering rhythmic walls, the track is a glorious trespass of senses and emotions.

Gravitas comes to a close with My Design, riffs hunting down the listener with pack like mentality as grooves sear air and flesh with their pestilential temptation and resourcefulness. As it expands and immerses the listener in its lyrical sufferance, the track is a riveting and skilled provocation but lacks the creative spark which ignites the other three tracks on the EP so magnificently. Nevertheless it is an assault drenched in what Malefice is all about, creatively threatening, destructively intense, and driven by pure passion, not forgetting irresistibly thrilling.

Gravitas is a scintillating slab of barbarous majesty reinforcing Malefice as one of the UK’s and Europe’s leading inventive metallers. Earlier we suggested a debate on whether this is the band’s best moment yet; another listen as we write though suggests it just might be and if not, anticipation that the forthcoming new album from Malefice will be is hard to shake off.

The Gravitas EP is available now via Transcend Music @  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/gravitas-ep/id922130758

https://www.facebook.com/maleficeofficial

RingMaster 04/11/2014

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Eyes Of Mara – Self Titled

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At times bedlamic, and very often a cacophonous onslaught, the debut self-titled album from US metallers Eyes Of Mara is one of the most compelling and savage releases this year. It is a provocation that gives you no choice but to dive headlong into its vicious depths, the release dragging ears and senses into its fury from the very first second but once enslaved it reveals an exhausting and invigorating brawl of invention and ferocious enterprise.

Metalcore, deathcore, hardcore, however you wish to tag the band’s sound, Eyes Of Mara cast a destructive web which draws on hordes of different flavours to create their simultaneously familiar yet unique ravaging of the senses and imagination. Formed in 2010 and taking their name from a Buddhist demon who is the embodiment of impulse and death, the band was swiftly igniting audiences with their furnace of sound and hostility. A year ago their well-received first EP Akkadia was unleashed, drawing attention and acclaim towards the Californian quartet. Having recently signed with Imminence Records, Eyes Of Mara now have broader horizons in their sight and their album the next uncaged persuasion.

Opening track is called Vicious and that sums it and the album up perfectly. From fiercely jabbing beats, caustic riffs, and a vocal squall of pure rage, the track explodes in one hellacious torrent of spiteful rhythms and insatiable riffery lorded over by even more malicious vocals. It is a maelstrom of energy and noise, a sonic whipping flailing the core and hunger of the track as varied essences and vocal diversity add to the cacophony resulting in one glorious and brutal tsunami. There is a surface turmoil to the song but with a wickedly creative underbelly, though the sheer force and urgency of the assault overrides the senses predominantly. At times reminding of Slipknot as their inhospitable best, the track is a seriously destructive and thrilling start.

A more reserved entrance to the following Control gives a sense of security for ears though it is a deceit which is soon twisted into a volatile and ravenous tempest of intent and sound. Grooves bred by guitarist John Rubay groan throughout the ravishment consuming ears whilst the uncompromising rhythms of drummer Nick Rubay hold no restraint in swing and impact. It is merciless proposition but whereas the opener was an unbridled storm the second song is more of a predator feistily stalking its victim. Its more defined entrapment is matched by Don’t Get Close, a track where nu-metal tendencies share their colour with the emerging and sonically scorched tapestry being woven by the band. Essences of Korn search out for the imagination but equally a Whitechapel/As I Lay Dying like violence is on rampant display as the track makes a two pronged and inescapable persuasion. Vocalist Tyler Trainer is almost schizophrenic in his variety of attacks whilst the heavy intimidating lines of bass from Cody McDonald impressively add to the dark depths and hostility of the encounter.IR021

Both Pain and Fear and Our Paths keep the blistering rage and corrosive attacks coming, the first an antagonistic bruising with an underlying swagger and a host of seductively compelling grooves. It is a rhythmic mugging and sonic cruelty which just keeps giving, resulting in yet another virulently contagious and imaginatively punishing treat, whilst its successor riding its range on an enthralling steed of unpredictable rhythms, unveils further riveting and exciting surprises. The clean vocal venturing leaves any expectations which are maybe thinking of rising floundering, whilst similarly the melodic hardcore and almost progressive twists of the song, plus electro hues, catch deeply satisfied thoughts and emotions off guard.

The hardcore fuelled Derailed sears ears next, a short but vehemently intrusive song featuring Ian Forsythe from fellow Danville based band Cyborg Octopus, is pure vitriol in voice and energy. Yet as in all songs anything suggested is only part of the story, this track flirting with and scything through the senses and imagination with a torrential barrage of creative adventure and inventive voracity. It’s far too brief corruption is followed by a new turn in of events started by Rebirth. From this point the album shows another side to its character and the band’s exploration in sound and songwriting. Coaxing with a progressively nurtured and haunting calm, the song relentlessly builds up a dramatic and captivating wall of restrained yet oppressive sound. It is an evocative lure which consumes the length of the instrumental, and though as its peaceful climax leaves a slight dissatisfaction at the absence of the hinted eruption to come, it sparks emotions ready for the chilling exploration of Colder. Like a mix of Palms, Converge, and maybe Killswitch Engage, the track is an enthralling venture into new corners for the album, and though it lacks the addictive toxicity which wonderfully contaminates early songs, it is a heavily riveting and intimidating slab of emotive beauty and impassioned rancor.

Behind These Walls provides an outlet for the muscular adversarial might of the band to over-run ears and senses again, riffs and rhythms as incorrigible as they are brutal, matched by an exhaustingly mercurial vocal display and sonic ire. To this there are more twists than in a rat run in wait, a delicious sidestep into a thumping stride of rock ‘n’ roll rampancy and swaggering particularly stunning. It is another major peak across the lofty mountainous range of great tracks making the album bulge, only the infernal fade-out a minor niggle for tastes.

Closing on the inhospitable and tempestuous Force Of Change, metal and hardcore in barbaric union, the album is a sensational and ravenous triumph. Eyes Of Mara ensure it needs close attention and extra work at times in order to swim through the sonic winds surfacing the fearsome adventure, but rewards with a whirlwind of invention and flavour to make another important release of 2014.

Eyes Of Mara is available digitally and physically now via Imminence Records @ https://imminencerecords.bandcamp.com/album/eyes-of-mara

https://www.facebook.com/eyesofmara

RingMaster 31/10/2014

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In Love Your Mother – The Great Ape Project

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As well as holding gripping and inventive sounds, a song and release should be an adventure for ears and imagination to make the strongest connection, and they do not come more of a creative and challenging emprise than The Great Ape Project from Swizz trio In Love Your Mother. The album is a riveting and invigorating maelstrom of sound and deranged invention which leaves no stone unturned or bedlamic idea left in the shadows. Cramming eighteen songs in just over thirty minutes of creative mayhem means the album warrants and needs full attention so as not to miss any of the exhilarating drama within tracks which range from fourteen seconds to just short of four minutes in length. But the rewards are unrelenting and furiously imposing in one of the albums of the year.

Hailing from Zürich, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Valentin Baumgartner, bassist/vocalist Amedeo Mauriello, and drummer Andrea Tinner, unleash a sound which reaps the essences of mathcore and progressive metal and filters it through a vat of avant-garde, grindcore, and metalcore ingenuity. It comes out as a sound which can be best described as The Dillinger Escape Plan and System of a Down meets Destrage, Toumaï, and Kontrust yet isn’t like that either. It is a unique concoction which flirts and dances with senses as it brutalises them, and quite irresistible.

Themed by the sick and bad world our mothers warned us of, In Love Your Mother start the album and examination with The Mother Song. A thirty second tsunami of vocal causticity and rhythmic hostility speared by a sonic spite and toxic groove which all combines for a furious and concussive but appetite inflaming onslaught. Its swift assault is followed by the less intensive but no more lightweight 2116@#1916. It is immediately contagious, something alone impressive such its brevity of length, a slice of coarsely melodic and respectfully corrosive groove metal which slips agreeably before the vicious presence of We’re Gonna Dance Till Everyone Is Naked And Fallen Apart takes over. A metalcore canvas of vocals and maliciousness is soon twisted and bound in a weave of unpredictable and schizophrenic invention, the guitar of Baumgartner scything and spearing the heart of the tempest with breath-taking and psyche addling ingenuity. It is a manic endeavour matched by the swinging arms and prods of Tinner and the throaty creative predation of Mauriello. The longest song on the album, it explores and evolves with every second, bewitching and bewildering ears with almost hostile intent. The beauty of this and all songs, is the seamless and fluid transitions, one moment a bestial rampancy becomes a seductive croon and melodic embrace in another, all without a twitch of uncertainty or flex of ILYM_TGAP_albumcoverrandomness.

Johnny Rocket Is Not Dead launches its majestic uncompromising tirade next, grooves and bass temptation as eager and impacting as the vocal squalls and twisted sonic probing aligning to a rhythmic badgering. It is only one turn in the fifty second odd track though, as mentioned earlier every chord and jab of drums the detour to new and generally enthralling bliss, as evidenced no more potently than in Signs Of A Medium Life which splits the two parts of the title track. A hardcore/grind fuelled provocation, the track savages and pounds on the senses from the off. Riffs and beats show no mercy within the stalking gait of the song nor the blistering vocal roar which also has some restraint in its confrontation. Through the storm though, there are small and larger slithers of inventive majesty which enthral as much as the bruising thrust of the song.

The two bits of The Great Ape Project grab the hunger inspired already by band and album, but are swiftly surpassed by the brilliance of the also two parted Wish Me An Ocean, the first of its two scintillating movements a furnace of sonic fire and blistering psychotic beauty steered superbly by bass and drums. From the hasty senses foraging of its counterpart and the haunting piano sculpted drama of Drop The Back Of The Line, In Love Your Mother ignite another major blaze with Signs Of A Real Life. Striding forcibly with rhythmic and sonic nostrils flaring, the track soon slips into something more cantankerous and intimidating, crawling over senses and thoughts with a rabid breath and bestial intensity. It is just one border of the landscape though, an exotic melodic insanity blooming before a final fury emerges.

Through the thrillingly deranged, slightly post punk/noise rock spiced The Disco Fish, the melodically searing and perfectly crazed Inhale, and the restful and emotionally unbalanced Wish Me An Ocean Part 0, the album continues to engross and disorientate. But it is all just an appetiser for the pinnacle of the album, which is the song In Love Your Mother. With its first touch, a ridiculously addictive groove which only intensifies its lure as it is joined by rampant beats and a pleasingly varied vocal persuasion, the track is pure sonic and inventive alchemy. Demanding and infectious, imposing and wantonly accessible, it is a bargain for the soul made of the devil, a term which applies to the whole of the album.

The Hedgehog is more pure in its assault, its extreme metal rabidity direct and untethered yet still veined by a sonic enterprise to spellbind ears and thoughts. Its potent success is emulated by the inhospitable but irrepressibly catchy Ein Hase, Zwei Haese. With a swagger which only inflames its savagery and warped ingenuity equally, the track is a twisted mouth-watering blaze of unpredictability and extreme metal maliciousness to linger over.

Closed by the lo-fi folk croon of a track simply called Outro, The Great Ape Project is a sensational introduction to a band with the potential and invention to turn metal on its head at any time. The release is one of the real triumphs of the year and deserves the fullest of attention.

The Great Ape Project is available now @ http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=9357440

http://www.inloveyourmother.com

RingMaster 10/10/2014

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A Breach of Silence – The Darkest Road

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Though the tightness of its grip fluctuates across its fourteen roars, The Darkest Road is a creative fury easy to breed a greedy appetite for. Unleashed by Australian metallers A Breach of Silence, it is a tempestuous slab of varied styles and flavours which has been labelled as “powercore”. Melding the potent flavours of metalcore through to post hardcore, heavy metal on to melodic death metal, and we are missing out many more spices, it is a compelling proposition which never gives ears and imagination time to settle or spawn expectations.

The Darkest Road follows the successful and acclaimed debut album Dead or Alive which was released a year ago. With having Australia’s prestigious Q Music Award in the Best Heavy Song category (2012) under their belt, which helped lead the band to signing with Eclipse Records, their first full-length pushed A Breach Of Silence into a new intensive and global spotlight, backed potently by the band’s live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Born of Osiris, Adept, The Amity Affliction, and Upon a Burning Body. Earlier this year the band released their controversial Night Rider ‘first-person shooter’ music video which took inspiration from their obsession with FPS video games and 1960’s classic westerns such as Hang ‘em High and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Now The Darkest Road is upon us to stir up ears and thoughts whilst making another impressive step in the ascent of the Brisbane quintet.

Recorded with producers Fredrik Nordstrom and Henrik Udd (Bring Me the Horizon, Arch Enemy, In Flames), The Darkest Road as suggested ebbs and follows in the strength of its certainly unrelenting captivation, sometimes throwing a spanner in the works of getting a handle on songs and the release, but it only adds to the welcome and inventive unpredictability and constantly intriguing nature of the encounter. The album certainly starts with furious gusto and anthemic irresistibility, opener T.P.N.E shoving group shouts through ears before wiry grooves and heavy rumbling rhythms join the emerging storm. The raw and caustic vocal squalls of Rhys Flannery swiftly more in with antagonistic and skilled intent which in turn seems to light a fire in the creative swings of drummer Andrew Cotterell and the similarly vivacious motion of the grooves conjured up by Mat Cosgrove and Kerrod Dabelstein. It is a gripping and incendiary blend which is capped off by the throaty lure of bassist Blair Layt and more so by his outstanding clean vocal delivery. The song offers richly flavoursome and agitated metal of the highest order and an inescapable lure into the creative lair of A Breach of Silence, an entrance backed powerfully by the following title track.

The second song caresses ears with the impressive tones of Layt right away, evocative keys coaxing the invitation before riffs and acidic grooves erupt to trap and steal the passions all over again. As its predecessor, the track is a formidable Printencounter which is unafraid to bewitch and bewilder, seduce and rile, with a unique character seeded in the likes of All That Remains and In Flames. Its stature and temptation is matched by Vultures which strides confidently in next. Another certain anthem with its group calls and raging rhythmic confrontation, the song blazes sonically and vocally from the start, the extremes of voices a perfect union within the similarly blended canvas of predatory and melodically smouldering sounds.

Through the intensive yet warming examination of Silhouette, as the others songs upon The Darkest Road, a hope rich and potent roar against life’s obstacles, the band reveals more of their technical and imagination driven resourcefulness. A scent of Bullet For My Valentine hints throughout the evolving and inventive offering before Hang ‘em High sets its own individual fire within the release. Riffs and rhythms spew anger with their intensive and physical intent whilst Flannery almost brawls with ears through his uncompromising and pleasing vocal antagonism. It is a potent and engrossing song if without the spark of those before it, a comment which can be placed before In Reality We Trust also, though as always with the album it is mostly down to personal taste. The song storms and bleeds spite over the senses with skill and enterprise but it is mainly the vocals from both men which steal the plaudits.

From here the album does not have an identity crisis but definitely wrong-foots with persistence. Though all the tracks so far employed a diverse and varied spicing, they were bred from a fierce extreme metal canvas. The excellent Lost at Sea brings a new bloom of sound, immediately expelling a ‘folkish’ tinge to its air as well as a glorious melodic croon across its potent harmonies and sonic narrative. It is a loud whisper of something different in some ways but helps seed a new hostile and captivating breath to the album, and makes for an enthrallingly textured and majestic slice of persuasion.

   This is the End comes next and instantly spins an engaging sonic and rhythmic web around ears. It is a contagiously compelling weave, guitars and bass a simultaneously welcoming and menacing enticement over which the vocals merge hostile and catchy elements with a classic metal spiced attack. Every chord and rhythmic swipe brings a surprise and unexpected twist, the song emerging as another pinnacle and treat for the album, something Immortal is not. To be fair again it is just a personal thing but its heavy/power metal balladry complete with the genre’s trademark vocals warbles and squeals, just does not find a welcome in these ears though it is easy to hear its qualities and know it will be a favourite with classic metal fans. The song is another unique identity within the character of the album, though to call The Darkest Road schizophrenic would be going too far.

The excellent Hannibal is more from the template of earlier songs, its metalcore voracity and melodic tenacity an infectious and voracious treat which parts for the even heavier and harsher A Place I Know. The song also expels fiery melodic endeavour, again with a more classic spicing, before exploring slimmer post hardcore scenery punctuated with probably the most intensive beats and riffs on the album. It is a song which sets a fire in the belly at times but also lowers its temperature in others, but for intrigue and bold invention it is another notable moment.

Dead and Destroyed is simply brutal, a wall of angst and viciousness which still makes room for vocal croons whilst Krazy Bitch seems to pull in all the things which excites and personally frustrates in the album for a still rather pleasing encounter. The pair leaves the piano and voice sculpted ballad Time Still Remains to close the album, the song a more than decent piece of melodic metal but easy to skip by to get back to the pungent heights the album started on all over again.

The Darkest Road is a striking release, with to be honest any issues found coming from just the individual likes and dislikes we all have in our metal. It is easy to see A Breach of Silence becoming a big player in world metal if this thrilling tempest is anything to go by.

The Darkest Road is available now on Eclipse Records @ http://www.eclipserecords.biz/a-breach-of-silence-the-darkest-road-cd/

https://www.facebook.com/abreachofsilenceband

RingMaster 10/10/2014

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The Body Politic – Egressor

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As sonically savage as it is melodically radiant, Egressor provides one sizeable tempest of aggression, passion, and technical invention which thrusts Canadian progressive metallers The Body Politic into a whole new spotlight. The EP is a furious yet seductive storm which is as accomplished and gripping in its senses ravaging enterprise as it is in its rich croon of melodic and harmonic endeavour. The six track encounter provides a blistering fascination and unpredictable adventure which took a short while to reveal all its glories but emerged as another of the rigorously compelling events of the year.

Coming out of Vancouver Island and taking their name from the Clive Barker short story, The Body Politic made an attention grabbing mark with their well-received debut album All Too Human in 2011. Their sound entangles the nuances and freedom of jazz, which most members of the band studied at Vancouver Island University, with the colourful exploration of progressive metal and the predatory voracity of metalcore. It is a striking blend, skilfully twisted into an imagination binding storm as evidenced by Egressor. Following a period which has seen the band undertake several Canadian tours and share stages with the likes of Tesseract, Protest The Hero, and Scale The Summit, the new EP suggests it holds the spark to wider recognition as it sets the band out from the crowd.

The release impresses in many aspects, the technical craft, explosive adventure to the songwriting, and the striking vocals of Sam Britton the most striking of these. Produced by Spencer Bowman, the release opens with Vitam Agere. It EP Cover - Body Politic - Egressor - 2014is a haunting instrumental piece, emotion spilling keys stroking ears as a sonic wind grazes the senses. The restrained entrance soon brews up a forcible and portentous coaxing as guitars and rhythms sculpt a climactic air which is still soaked in that initial haunted, almost apocalyptic texture. The track flows straight into Armature, the track an immediate onslaught of eventful and demanding rhythms aligned to scorching grooves and ragged riffs. Driven by the coarse scowls of bassist Jesse Janzen, his tones as aggressive as the metalcore spine of the track, the song swiftly reveals potent scenery of raw persuasion from the riffs of Matt Aasen and Dan Montgomery alongside the thumping beats of Spencer Bowman. This onslaught is tempered by the technical flair and imagination the guitarists also unleash and the exceptional clean vocals of Britton, his entrance the final piece in the jigsaw bringing the track alive. As soon realised every moment is just an instance in the journey of a song, the starter proceeding to steer ears and emotions through avenues of raucous passion and ingenious technical enterprise, all soaked in the emotive keys of Rob Wilkinson.

It is an imposing and impressing start but merely a taster of greater things to come, instantly shown by the following All Hands. Electro radiance sets the track off before a torrent of contagious jagged riffs and the brawling tones of Janzen erupt, their confrontation swiftly tempered and complimented by the smooth flow of Britton’s delivery. The song then twists into an enthralling schizophrenic dance of psychotic rhythms and similarly bred sonic imagination, both aspects flirting with and chewing on thoughts and senses respectively. It is a glorious turn in the song before it slips back into its melodic fire bound in hostile intent. The track is sensational, a constant flood of creative intrigue and bold invention unafraid to wrong-foot and confront the listener.

Swing For The Fences has the task of following the EP’s first highlight and does so with antagonistic gusto. Grooves and riffs climb over the psyche from the off before relaxing into a melodic embrace led by Britton’s refreshing tones. Keys and melodies wrap emotive arms around ears before the track combines its dark and light side for another absorbing flight of riveting imagination and honest passion. Both sides of the vocals impress but it is the guitars which push passions from ardour into a lust for the song, their almost cryptic invention as bewildering as it is bewitching and never allow senses and thoughts to settle and get a firm hold of the swirl of sonic acidity and bedlamic enterprise at the heart of the track.

In song and EP though, every part of the band combines to create spellbinding torrents of adventure and intent, keys and bass as vocal in their own way as the rhythmic and sonic character of tracks. Colqhoun instantly proves the point, the throaty lure of Janzen’s bass and the seducing presence of Wilkinson’s keys potent and expressive textures in the song’s exploration. Though not as dramatically gripping as its two predecessors, it casts a seriously rewarding and imagination provoking canvas coloured by raw metal and jazz rock hues, before making way for the closing Irradiate. The final track takes its initial crystalline melodies into a turbulent yet infectiously captivating furnace of adversarial angst and provocation, shadows and light hurling themselves around each other through the stunning skill and imagination of the band.

The track is a thrilling end to an outstanding release, one with the flesh and soul to push The Body Politic to the forefront of progressive metal.

The Egressor EP is available now digitally as a name your price download and on CD @ http://thebodypolitic.bandcamp.com/

http://www.thebodypolitic.ca/

RingMaster 17/09/2014

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Dioramic – Supra

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There is a clutch of bands with the imagination and mastery to combine mouth-watering beauty and voracious aggression in one heavily imposing proposition but few able to conjure the mesmeric seduction and creative ferocity as found on Supra, the new album from German metallers Dioramic. The bands third full-length release is an extraordinary exploration of light and dark textures, technical and feral ingenuity, and breath-taking invention. One of the most scintillating, awe inspiring encounters in recent years.

The quartet from Kaiserslautern is no strangers to making jaws drop in response to their craft and adventure, previous albums Phase Of Perplexity and Technicolor in 2004 and 2010 respectively, greedily received but Supra finds the band at a whole new plateau of sonic alchemy. The album was begun in 2011 but a line-up change due to drummer Anton Zaslavski’s success with his own Grammy award winning project Zedd, meaning he had little time to devote to Dioramic, halted the recording of the Supra. Paul Seidel (War From A Harlot’s Mouth, The Ocean) was recruited to take up the sticks in the band, with the album subsequently completed last year. Released via Pelagic Records, it now makes its stunning entrance into the world and is set to draw a new template for others to be inspired by through its multi genre embracing fury of progressive rock and metal.

Describing the sound of band and album is an on-going task as each track takes ears and emotions down a new richly flavoursome avenue in the general riveting landscape of the release. Imagine a mix of Muse, The Ocean, Between The Buried And Me, and Australian band Voyager and you get a glimpse of the invention of Dioramic. From its first moments Supra is gripping attention and imagination, the opening seconds of Xibalban a tempting lure which expands rapidly into a tempest of muscular intimidation from riffs and rhythms alongside a sumptuous beauty from vocals and expressive melodies. The track manages to cast a hazy warmth and radiance within a voracious wall of sound and intimidation, keeping both wrapped in a clarity which astounds and spellbinds. At times it is seeded in progressive metal, in others a metalcore rage, whilst throughout there is a melodic sun of enterprise and provocative intrigue, and we have not mentioned the thrash and groove metal twists which amongst many enter the bewitching narrative of the track.

The stunning start is straight away matched by the slightly more merciful but no less gripping Carpets On The Walls. It opens with a gentle melodic caress which in no time turns into Meshuggah like voracity and technical emprise clad Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-20 um 21.16.10in whispers of theatrical drama and sublime imagination. It is a riveting start which evolves into a glorious melodic soar of vocals from guitarist Arkadi Zaslavski and sonic endeavour from him and fellow string exploiter Alexander Mauch, the encounter taking ears on yet another unexpected and unpredictable flight.

Two tracks in and the release is a breath-taking encounter, one not prepared to take its foot off the pedal of creative tenacity as shown by the following The Calm Before and The Storm. The first as suspected from its title is a gentler glide than its predecessors, a restrained glaze of melody enriched vocals within a portentous atmosphere. In that provocative temptation though, the track explodes into climactic and turbulent roars which stirs up the hostility in rhythms and senses searing riffs, not forgetting the gloriously carnivorous tone of Max Nicklas’ bass, before relaxing back into the ambient poetry of the song’s breath. It is a bewitching encounter setting up its successor perfectly, though the following track does not quite go for the jugular musically as expected. Vocally though it is initially an uncompromising fury, antagonistic squalls prowling the psyche as stabbing riffs and fiercely imposing rhythms set a commanding cage. Opposites and extremes again toy with ears and thoughts, a sublime wash of vocal harmonies and melodic elegance finding their potent place in the tempest.

Even greater heights are breached by Worth and Big Pump, each a new torrent of technical vivacity and passion igniting invention. From its opening breath, the first of the two breeds a blistering contagion to soak ears and emotions, expressive clean vocals aligned to deeply gripping hooks and rhythms binding ears in their infectious suasion. Zaslavski finds a Matt Bellamy like presence to his voice which is supported just as magnetically by the tones of the rest of the band within the cradle of spikey riffs and radiant melodies. Muse meets Palms with Periphery looking on; it is a sublime piece of songwriting and its sultry realisation, matched by the more predatory second of the two. Riffs snarl and challenge from the first swipe of similarly aggressive rhythms, their bordering on hostile presence taken into rawer confrontation by the aggression driven vocals. The track proceeds to roar and seduce the senses, the intricate spirals of sonic endeavour and rhythmic agitation a fascinating and thrilling canvas for the corrosive vocals to bellow from. As expected the track evolves and twists before ears for yet one more absorbing and exhilarating provocation.

Melancholia offers exactly what is says on the tin, its evocative coaxing covered in emotive shadows and vocal elegance as keys spread their equally passion washed narrative. It is an engrossing basking for senses and thoughts before the inventive maelstrom of Logbook comes in, once more vocal harmonies and melodic flames encased in rugged rhythmic walls and scarring riffery for an astonishing drama fuelled emprise.

The album ends with Vortex Reflex, a further smouldering immersion into the vocal mellowness and irresistible melodic charm which seduces across the whole album, within the rhythmic ingenuity and sonic fire which equally makes Supra one of the pinnacles of the year. The album is quite simply an illustrious encounter with Dioramic setting new plateaus for others to aspire to.

Supra is available through Pelagic Records now digitally, on limited coloured vinyl edition, and CD which comes with an extra DVD with live material, studio reports and interviews @ http://pelagic-records.com/cds/

https://www.facebook.com/dioramic  

10/10

RingMaster 15/09/2014

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